My Wenlock Summer Garden


For her June Sunday Garden Challenge, Jude asks us to show her what summer means to us. So here are a few views of our garden on Sheinton Street. I should say straight away that I don’t give it the attention it deserves, and that daily I abandon it as I walk through and out the back gate and across the field to the allotment.

The plot is long and thin, following the width of the cottage, and on three different levels, which I don’t make enough of. For one thing, I know it must be possible to have beautiful plants growing somewhere within it all the year round if only I would sit down and do some proper planning and research.

Instead I tinker here and there, and let the garden do a lot of its own gardening. This includes encouraging the self-sown foxgloves, and the wonderfully scented purple, mauve and white Dame’s-violet  (Hesperis matronalis) seen in the photo behind the foxglove, both of which follow on from the clouds of self-sown columbines. My garden, then, comes into its own only in summer, and otherwise can look rather dreary. But while it’s here, it’s wonderful – total cottage garden exuberance and chaos.

Welcome to my garden.


Oriental Poppy, crab spider and Dame’s-violets



Wild corn cockle (bottom right), foxgloves, purple toadflax; variegated lemon balm, oregano and golden marjoram in between, and the coppery foliage of Smoke Bush (Cotinus) in the background.



Columbine break-out

44 thoughts on “My Wenlock Summer Garden

    1. Well Jo, if you come lodging, and you’re more than welcome, you might find yourself dragooned up to the allotment where there is an over-exuberance of weeds 🙂

      1. Oh dear! Do you have a garden shed? I have fond memories of paste sandwiches, a primus stove and a gooseberry bush from my youth 🙂

      2. I have two sheds my dear, though one leans a bit. And a polytunnel for when it rains. And garden chairs. I could lay on the sarnies and a flask 🙂

  1. What a lovely cottage garden Tish, full of colour and scent and self-sown beauties like all those columbines and gorgeously wild too. I love a natural garden. And I’m impressed you caught a crab spider, I don’t think I have ever seen one of those except on Ark’s site 🙂

    1. It was Ark who inspired me to look, and lo and behold, there it was. It even waved its spider ‘claw’ at me when I approached too close, and advanced on me from the rear of the poppy to take command of the front petals. Feisty little beastie.

  2. Oh, Tish, your post made me so happy…and also sad that I’m not much of a gardener and am even behind on simple yard work. I did manage to get three basil plants, one each of rosemary and parsley, and four tomato plants into the ground or pots finally. At our house in Cleveland, I had a better garden and I miss my poppies, lavender, Chinese lanterns, and other beauties. My senses than you for this lovely post.


      1. I’m growing some of those in poltunnel. We had an overabundance last year which resulted in a lot of yellow tomato sauce, which took some adapting to colour-wise, but tasted delicious.

  3. You are such a good photographer! Yes, when I saw those last two pictures I actually started singing that old song, “In an English country ga-a-arden!” Wonderful.

  4. I drool over all your exuberant cottage garden Tish. I love the fact that so much self sowing goes on. I’m with Jo I’m a very good weeder!!!

    1. That skill is much in demand at Sheinton Street, Pauline. Our next door field boundaries keeps us well supplied with thistles, nettles and brambles so thick gloves required.

  5. I love your blooms Tish, they gladden my heart…in the full blush of summer there’s no better place to be. Xxxx

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